News, Walden

Town Clerk Expects Lively Conversation

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WALDEN – At Town Meeting this year, voters will be asked to approve budgets totaling $914,532, an increase of just under 2.4% over the 2023 budget.

An additional item asks for approval to borrow up to $30,000 over three years for a new truck. That borrowing reduced the proposed highway fund budget by 1.04% to $580,550. The proposed general fund budget of $355,577 is an 8.42% increase.

Walden Town Clerk Debbie Messier reports that “increases in the budget this year are due to increases in health insurance, fire insurance, ambulance services, and utilities.” She added, “controlling the budget throughout the year is made more difficult with increases in the cost of diesel, propane, and gravel. The Town has line items built into the budgets for capital improvements and highway maintenance to help offset the cost of large ticket items.”

In response to a question about how the town works to be a good place to raise a family, Messier said, “The select board works hard to keep the increase in budgets low so that families can stay.”

One select board seat is open for a three year-term. Current Chair Randolph Wilson is running unopposed for his third term unless someone else is nominated from the floor.

Messier said she “doesn’t see anything controversial on the meeting agenda. Asking the town to make the town clerk/town treasurer a three year position instead of one year will generate a conversation for sure.”

Under other business Messier expects the Walden Cemetery Commission will ask for community input on burial fees, the possible expansion of cemeteries, and planning for green burials.

Lunch will be available for purchase to benefit the Walden Home Dem. The Walden School Playground Committee will have baked goods for sale.

See the Town Meeting Planner elsewhere in this issue for details.

Paul Fixx is editor of The Hardwick Gazette and lives in Hardwick.

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